Real estate agents often preach the virtues of location, location, location. All for a good reason of course. Selecting a poor site can doom any practice before it even opens its doors. Regardless of whether you are an optometrist, chiropractor, dentist or doctor, you must efficiently choose a suitable location. It plays a critical role in enabling you to achieve professional and personal satisfaction and success.
Most optometrists brush off thorough demographic analysis but a good analysis can be to your advantage. You can determine if the population is growing or declining. It is easier to break into newer communities than mature communities because you will have to take away patients from already established eye doctors in that area. Information on the income, education levels; age distribution; race, ethnicity, blue collar vs. white collar can help determine which audience is best. You will naturally want to do a thorough demographic analysis. Explore at least three places.
Saturation and competition are essential. You need to consider if there is sustainable income if you locate in a certain community. Check on the population-to-professional ratio for the areas you are interested in establishing, the lower the number of professionals, the lower the competition. In the case where all the doctors in an area are all good, you may need to find what sets you apart from the rest. What did the others overlook? Also, ensure that the community you intend to practice it can support a full-time doctor before investing your time and money only to realize that you cannot make a living in that community.
A good location should be able to give you good visibility, such as from the road. Take time to study the major thoroughfares for business commuters and the popular businesses such as supermarkets and banks within a five-mile radius of your area. The more popular businesses there are, the more potential clients will be attracted to you. The more upscale the business, the more upscale the clients. Also, check on the most convenient side of the street for your client. If most patients make appointments after work and rush hour traffic is heavier going east, that is the best side to choose.
Signage is crucial to a consumer direct practice. When you have narrowed down your optometry location to at least one or two, make sure to look up the local regulations on outside office signs. Check whether there are restrictions enforced by the landlord, if potential patients can see you from the street and if there are already too many cluttering signs on the road that yours won’t stand out. The more your sign stands out, the more patients you can attract.
Many optometrists believe that an excellent location is one that brings in the profits. This part is correct but then let us put profitability in full perspective. If you choose an area you do not like just because you can capitalize on the business opportunity the community offers, you are just creating unnecessary stress and unhappiness for yourself. To be a complete success, you need to get involved with your community through volunteer organizations, clubs, and local schools. Your patients will want to see you in action, showing your sense of commitment and dedication to the community as well. If you love your community, this will be effortless. A happy optometrist delivers better results.
Last but not least keep in mind the prospects of the practice. Ensure that the place of choice allows for growth and additional equipment. Your practice will also affect your family, and it is important to consider the convenience of the location to your child’s school and home.